Wall Street ends near flat, financials climb

US stocks ended little changed on Friday as financials rose with bond yields, while news that US President Donald Trump instructed aides to proceed with tariffs on about US$200 billion of Chinese products limited gains.

The S&P financial index was up 0.7 percent, leading percentage gains among sectors. Benchmark US Treasury yields rose above 3 percent earlier in the day, but were last off those levels.

At the same time, the rate-sensitive S&P utilities index fell 0.5 percent.

A source familiar with the White House decision also said the timing for activating the additional tariffs was unclear.

The move came despite US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin’s attempts to restart talks with Beijing.

“There are a lot of headlines that have come out, people have been pretty active all week, and it’s Friday afternoon. You don’t really want to add additional risk when you don’t know what news might hit over the weekend,” said Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8.68 points, or 0.03 percent, to 26,154.67, the S&P 500 gained 0.8 points to 2,904.98 and the NASDAQ Composite dropped 3.67 points, or 0.05 percent, to 8,010.04.

For the week, the Dow was up 0.9 percent, the S&P 500 was up 1.2 percent and the NASDAQ rose 1.4 percent.

Also weighing on utilities was NiSource Inc, which tumbled 11.7 percent after fire investigators said they suspected a unit of the company, Columbia Gas, was linked to the series of gas explosions in the suburbs of Boston on Thursday.

Shares of insurer The Travelers Companies Inc were up 0.9 percent as analysts cut loss estimates from Hurricane Florence as the storm weakened.

Walmart Inc lost 0.6 percent after Goldman Sachs raised questions around the purchase of a majority stake in

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